Jim Cillo

1965 Buick "Super Wildcat" convertible

26 posts in this topic

 

 I just came across a 1965 Buick "Super Wildcat" convertible. It has a 425 c.i. motor (the original) with 2-4 bbl Carter carbs that make it a "Super Wildcat". It is all original with nothing done to it and it has very low miles. Also, it has a 4-speed transmission. In checking, I have found out that they are extremely rare with either only 14 or 22 made and no one knows how many still on the road. On a scale of one to four with one being showroom and four a rust bucket, this car is a solid three. 

 

Can someone tell me if those production numbers are correct. Also, any history on the car would be appreciated and finally the value of this "Super Wildcat"...............Thank you!

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Never heard of a Super Wildcat. If Buick records are like Chevrolet records, you can't know how many were made. It does sound like a neat car. You can check out "Old Cars Price Guide" for values & an explanation of conditions numbered 1 through 6. Bear in mind that being a roadworthy car is a MAJOR factor in condition along with the body & interior. Below is the NADA info for values on the car. NOTE: They don't list a separate model Super Wildcat or an option called Super Wildcat.

If you decide not to buy it or buy it to flip, I may be interested.

 

Base Price $3,651 $10,900 $22,600 $42,000 Options: (change) 4 Speed Transmission   5% 5% 5% 425/360 HP V8 Engine   15% 15% 15% TOTAL PRICE: $3,651 $13,080 $27,120 $50,400

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In Buick terms, "Super Wildcat" refers the 425 CI engine with the dual quad carburetor setup, chrome air cleaner, etc. In 1965, Buick could put that engine in several models (Wildcat, Riviera, Electra). Without official numbers in front of me right now, I'd say that 1965 was the most popular year for the "Super Wildcat" setup, but they are still relatively rare and very desirable. Especially with the 4-speed transmission. The value would greatly depend on which model you have and condition. If you want educated opinions from this forum, we will need to see some pictures. Which model do you have?

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All I can say is that it's rare enough you should grab it.  NOW before it's too late.  You'll kick yourself if you don't.  Being that it's a convertible makes it even more rare.  You can check the authenticiy of it by looking at the engine and comparing the Engine Serial Number with the VIN. There's a link on www.teambuick.com that shows you where to find that number.  Look in the reference tab, then browse around until you find "where to find the numbers."  I tried to post the link but right now it's not responding.  The other thing you need to ascertain is that it's truly a Super Wildcat.  The same site well show where to find the Production Code.  For 1965, the year code is L and the code for the Super Wildcat is X.  You're looking for an LX motor.  Both numbers are stamped, not cast.  They're on the machined surface where the valley covers sits.  The LX should be on your left behind the water crossover and the Engine Serial number should be on your right.  Run, don't walk or someone is going to beat you to this.

 

Ed

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Posted (edited)

My gut suspicion is that it's a "real car".  Ordering a large-body Buick with a 4-speed manual transmission is one thing to make it rare and "low numbers".  Adding the 2x4 Super Wildcat engine would go right along with that, too.  I suspect it's got a 3.42 rear axle, too.

 

Putting that powertrain in a convertible would probably drive the production figures into the single-digits, which would certainly point to a "one of . . ." car when the color and trim options are figured into the mix.

 

For many "typical Buick people", the main attraction would be the convertible body.  The 2x4 425 V-8 would not be the most economical engine to have.  But the 4-speed manual transmission might be the "deal-breaker" for them.  You need to act like one of "them" when you approach the seller . . . rather than with drool on your shirt.  The real market for that car is a very narrow one, BUT one that can be a very profitable one IF the car is bought "right".  There seems to be something of a cult following for manual transmissioned big-car Oldsmobiles of that general vintage.  There's a thread in the Olds section, I believe, on how to look for the data plate information to make sure it's real.

 

Remember, too, to purchase the car for a price commensurate with the condition the car is now in, NOT what it could be worth when correctly restored and "showroom condition".  "Rare" does not always equate into $$$$$, though, which is why you definitely don't need to over-pay for the vehicle!

 

Please keep us posted . . .

NTX5467

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)

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On the data plate look to see if there's a code L in group 2.  I found some notes that indicate that this is the code that Buick used for the four speed in it's 64 - 65 big body cars. There could be other letters behind the 2 as well but the L in group 2 could indicate a factory 4 speed car. Anyone have any other data on this?

 

Ed

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On the data plate look to see if there's a code L in group 2.  I found some notes that indicate that this is the code that Buick used for the four speed in it's 64 - 65 big body cars. There could be other letters behind the 2 as well but the L in group 2 could indicate a factory 4 speed car. Anyone have any other data on this?

 

Ed

 

 

http://forums.aaca.org/topic/256256-4-speed-lesabre/page-3

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Posted (edited)

Great find, according to my interpretation of the Buick Daily Production report there were 14 Super Wildcat (A-8 High Performance Option)

Custom Convertibles with the 4-speed.  There were 7 Deluxe convertibles with A-8 and 4-speed.  

There is one known up in the pacific Northwest, one that was up east that showed up on eBay a couple times (10 years ago- it is dark green)and one in my garage in Cincinnati- via the Philadelphia area...  Maybe another couple out there, hope you make the purchase and join us.

 

drivers20side.jpg

Edited by Wildcat65 (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

The A8 - Super Wildcat engine option - will NOT be on the data plate.  The only options listed on the data plate are the options for the back half of the car where all of the metal stampings/holes/clips were done.  Other options such as tilt wheel, cornering lights, four note horns, engine choice - 401, 425, 425 Super wildcat, etc. (anything that could be bolted on to a basic chassis) were put on at the final assembly plant - where the engine was mated to the chassis.  The L2 would be on the data plate because stampings/holes needed to be made on the firewall for the clutch pedal assembly, and to the floor board for the shifter.

 

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

(Waving my hand in the air!)

 

Did anyone else see that white 1965 Riviera at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals in Chicago last weekend which had the 'Super Wildcat' engine package?

 

23829518681_4005022dc5_z_d.jpg

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)

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You need to visit the ROA annual event some time.  That Riviera option is so popular, we have to put them in a class of their own.  :)

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You need to visit the ROA annual event some time.  That Riviera option is so popular, we have to put them in a class of their own.  :)

Now what would be awesome to see is a 'police package' basic black LeSabre sedan with one, complete with the HD suspension and handling package.    Know of any?

 

Craig

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I had a couple of brand X full size, large engine, 4 speed cars from the 1960's. If you haven't lived with one for a while think carefully before laying out the money, especially if you only have one car.

 

The novelty wears off quite quickly. I found myself ignoring 1st gear all together. It turned out not to be much of a fun car to drive. Even an A body can be overpowered enough to make a 4 speed kind of out of place.

 

The 4 speed car I enjoyed the most was a small block 1978 Nova X body; small engine, small body made it a nice car. And I used all four gears all the time with that one.

 

Bernie

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With the Wildcat, first gear is totally required since the ratio for that gear is 2.2:1. I've got to do a lot of feathering to get mine moving. Even my 3 on the tree Wildcat requires some serious clutch babying to get moving.

Not a great everyday car but it's been a long time since any of my old cars were the only car!

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the story at the wilmington delaware plant was that NO 4 speed cars would be built there after the first one was crashed thru a garage door because it was started in gear with the pedal to the metal, so yes, the 4 speed would be very rare

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The Wildcat 4-speeds and 3 on the tree cars were all built in Flint.  

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Several years ago, someone on the V8Buick.com board went to the Sloan Museum and compiled info on these cars and made a spreadsheet, so it's only as accurate as what he typed.

 

But he shows 199 Wildcat convertibles were built in 1964 with a 4-speed.

 

For 1965, the number fell to 106 (of which 77 were Customs). They were divided by 53 401s, 32 425s, and 21 425 2x4s (with 14 of the latter being Customs, as Wildcat65 indicated above).

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yep.  that is my spreadsheet.  I've got all the "Daily Production" sheets from Sloan for 64, 65 and 66 Wildcats.  

The Spreadsheets are my interpretation of the data from them.  Hopefully they help... I know I was suprised at the totals.

Ted

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I just purchased a 65 Buick Super Wildcat, numbers matching, original car...it is all here.... but needs a restore...has some rust and will take some time to restore but is not bad.. I have most of the replacement parts and hope to get started soon.. I found in research that 7 convertibles and 14 hardtops were made in 65.. anyone have a break down on exterior and interior colors..   also, is the nailhead considered a small block or a big block?  TIA....

37.jpg

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9 hours ago, MikeRKirkWood said:

also, is the nailhead considered a small block or a big block?

The Nailhead is considered the Nailhead, an immaculate engine of it's own class and power. Small block and big block are words thrown around by Chevy guys to get their testosterone up because they're ignorant. I know because that's my father. "Drop a 350 in there and call it good..."

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13 minutes ago, Beemon said:

The Nailhead is considered the Nailhead, an immaculate engine of it's own class and power. Small block and big block are words thrown around by Chevy guys to get their testosterone up because they're ignorant. I know because that's my father. "Drop a 350 in there and call it good..."

 

Holy crap Benjamin, that is almost Word for Word what I told someone at the swap meet last weekend when they asked me about the 401 nailhead in the Electra. Way to go with that description👌👍👍

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9 hours ago, MikeRKirkWood said:

I just purchased a 65 Buick Super Wildcat, numbers matching, original car...it is all here.... but needs a restore...has some rust and will take some time to restore but is not bad.. I have most of the replacement parts and hope to get started soon.. I found in research that 7 convertibles and 14 hardtops were made in 65.. anyone have a break down on exterior and interior colors..   also, is the nailhead considered a small block or a big block?  TIA....

37.jpg

 

Wow,  what a score Mark! Hopefully you will start a thread on it in our Me and My Buick forum. 

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Someone doing a 'Day Two' restoration on their 1975 C10 short box will take those wheels off your hands and free-up some restoration cash!  ;)

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On 4/19/2017 at 0:17 AM, MikeRKirkWood said:

I just purchased a 65 Buick Super Wildcat, numbers matching, original car...it is all here.... but needs a restore...has some rust and will take some time to restore but is not bad.. I have most of the replacement parts and hope to get started soon.. I found in research that 7 convertibles and 14 hardtops were made in 65.. anyone have a break down on exterior and interior colors..   also, is the nailhead considered a small block or a big block?  TIA....

 

 

Greetings and Welcome to Super Wildcat world!  I'm glad to see this one show up on BCA site.   

When doing the research on 65 Wildcats from Sloan Museum documents I found there were

Super WIldcat Production:

117  4-doors

327 Coupes

107 convertibles 

 

This is interpreted from the daily production sheets available from Sloan Museum.

Here is part of my fleet- the Sea Foam convertible is a original Super Wildcat- sold in Cincinnati, still here!

 

2010-10-06 17.38.32.jpg

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